KVM Switch and Virus Protection

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cubixcrayfish, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. cubixcrayfish macrumors member

    cubixcrayfish

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #1
    I ordered my 1.42 80 GB superdrive, 512 MB Ram on saturday, will be here in like a month, but I got 2 questions.

    I want to share the same monitor, keyboard, and mouse with my windows PC. Will any KVM switch work for this, and will my wireless mouse work with this. I am using a standard gateway keyboard, and a microsoft wireless mouse. I don't want to buy anything over $40, becuase if it's over $40 I would just be better off buying a bargin monitor.


    I know that I will need some kind of virus protection. On my windows PC, I got heavy duty virus and firewall. What will I need for a mac, anyone got any suggestions for me, I don't want to spend a ton, just something to scan and clean and keep my new mac safe.


    I can't wait for my mini to get here! It would be cool if the mini came in differnt colors though, like orange would be sweet!


    CCF
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #2
    First off: you do not need virus protection for the mini. None. Zip. Zero. There are no Mac OS X viruses. Or spyware. However, if you get .Mac, you get Virex with that, which does a decent job of removing Windows viruses from email so you don't pass it along to other Windows systems. But, seriously, there aren't any viruses, and the OS X firewall is pretty good by itself - and easy to use.

    Second, any decent KVM that handles DVI will exceed $40 by a factor of 4-5. A VGA one might be fairly cheap, though perhaps not $40.
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #3
    Sorry, I forgot to say a couple of things....

    First: congrats!

    Second, your KB and mouse will work fine, although a Mac-specific KB would have some nice things - like the CD eject button, etc. But, if you get a KVM, just plug your KB and mouse into there. The one thing you'll need (probably) are USB->PS2 adapters, since the mini uses USB for KB and mouse connections.
     
  4. cubixcrayfish thread starter macrumors member

    cubixcrayfish

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #4
    Mouse is USB, and keyboard is PS2, but wouldn't the KVM take the PS2, and then connect to the PC and Mac. I plan on buying an apple keyboard, but I will do that when I get more $$$

    Can someone please explain more about the KVM to me, it's still confusing me.



    CCF
     
  5. cubixcrayfish thread starter macrumors member

    cubixcrayfish

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #5
    So u assure me I don't need virus protection? If I did get a virus and it messed up my comp would the Apple Protection Plan cover any work they do to fix it?
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #6
    APP wouldn't cover you if a virus messed things up (which is why you need to backup, as on any computer). But... unless you buy .Mac ($70 first year if you get it with your computer; I'm sure you could call and add it for that price) and get the Virex app that comes with that, there's nothing out there, really. Note: do not - do not - install Norton apps for Mac. Norton's great on a PC. Norton apps used to be great on Macs. Norton apps are now ill-advised for Macs running OS X.

    But, like I said, total OS X virus count seen "in the wild": zero. Total OS X spyware: none.
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #7
    Well, as you probably know, all the KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) does is switch between inputs. So, as long as you have whatever adapters it takes to connect your KB, mouse, and monitor to it, and it to your two (or more) computers, you're all set. They often come with cables and you just need to match the connection types. Since your KB and mouse are of differing types, I'd recommend a USB-based KVM (or one that uses USB or PS2) and getting the appropriate adapters for the PS2 connections.
     
  8. KCK macrumors regular

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    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    #8
    I have never run any kind of virus protection ( or anti ad/spyware) on my Macs and I have never had a problem. Like the other poster said you should make regular back-ups of your important files but this is just standard common sense for any computer.
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #9
    And to reiterate what I said before: if your monitor is DVI, not VGA, just buy another monitor - good DVI switches are over $200. For the monitor switch alone.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Well, there are no assurances. But the no viruses thing is not an exaggeration. There are literally no known OS X viruses in the wild. There have been a couple of trojan horses, but they're known and pretty obvious. One of them was a program that masqueraded as an MP3 file and did some mayhem in iTunes, and another was a fake demo version of MS Office that deleted things on you, but was ridiculously small vs. what the download size should've been, and wasn't exactly coming off the MS website.

    I had virus protection for the first eight months I owned my Mac, never got a virus, and gave up and uninstalled it. But to be honest, I got about two virus pings in two years on Win98. They were both from using a floppy disk in a computer lab. If you follow safe procedures, viruses are not even really that big a problem in the Windows world. But in the mac world, well, it's a non-issue.

    But if you want someone to take responsibility on your behalf, then I guess you need to get an anti-virus program.

    WRT the KVM switch, it's just a box that has USB and video plugs, mostly. You plug your keyboard and mouse (or the wireless dongles, unless they're bluetooth, in which case you don't need the KVM switch for them), and then you plug the box to both the Mac and the PC. You do the same with the monitor. Then you flip the switch to direct the hardware communication to one or the other.

    The fancier ones let you do it in software, too, I think, like moving your mouse off the side of the screen and re-appearing on the other PC, or something, I think.
     
  11. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

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    Ann Arbor, MI
    #11
    I would say no one can assure you of that. Currently, there have been no successful viruses attacking OS X. That may change. Apple will certainly not fix your computer if and when viruses become an issue for OS X.

    Here is my understanding of a KVM to respond to your earlier post. KVM's come in many flavors depending on how you want to hook up your monitor and keyboard/mouse. So, you need to make sure those connectors work. Now, the crux here is that your keyboard is PS2 and I'm sure that there are KVM's that support this, but I would recommend getting a KVM that is USB anyways for 2 reasons. (1) You can get a cheap PS2->USB adaptor for your current keyboard and you stated that you want to get a Mac keyboard later anyways and that will use USB (2) I have seen some KVM's that have additional USB ports to share other peripherals such as your printer easily between the two computers.

    Finally, you mentioned in your original post that your mouse is wireless. I can't say for sure, but I think this should work. You would just have to make sure the software is installed on both computers (I think). However, it is possible that the mouse would either have difficult "knowing" which computer to transmit to or it may transmit to both at the same time even though you are only able to see the actions on one--whichever one you are currently looking at.

    Good luck and welcome.
     
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #12
    You need a USB keyboard -- there are KVM's that do PS2 - USB conversion but they are more expensive.

    Some of the Logitech keyboards come with Mac commands on the keytops as well as Win.

    You haven't told us what type of monitor your PC has. If it is a DVI flat panel, the KVM switches that will switch DVI are expensive. I have a Sharp LCD monitor with multiple inputs, so I use a KVM purely for the Logitech keyboard and Microsoft mouse (both wired) and use the Sharp's front panel switch to change between Mac and PC inputs.

    I went back to wired peripherals because between drained batteries and switching back and forth, it was too hard to predict whether it would work or not.

    Keep a PS/2 mouse attached to the back of the PC -- I have found that frequently switching back and forth causes my PC motherboard to "forget" it has USB ports, the only fix is to reboot. It's easier to do a clean shutdown if you have a dumb PS/2 mouse that doesn't rely on the USB drivers.

    Make sure that the KVM Switch you buy comes with the appropriate cables, otherwise buying cables will significantly up the price.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #13
    A bluetooth mouse would have issues, I'm sure. Other wireless mice have their own transponder in a pod which hooks up by USB, so you can simply put the transponder on the "people" side of the KVM switch and there won't be any confusion - it will only be able to communicate with one machine at a time. But be prepared for a pause each time you switch, before the mouse becomes active.
     
  14. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Of course, that makes perfect sense... another reason to opt for a USB KVM and possibly a reason to not opt for internal BT and go for the external dongle.
     
  15. cubixcrayfish thread starter macrumors member

    cubixcrayfish

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #15
    I got a LCD monitor, VGA, got the 3 rows of equal prongs.

    I was thinking of getting .mac gonna call them tomorrow about getting the 69.95, will they let me renew with this price. Was the hype about the .mac changes true. If they won't give me the 69.96 I can pick it up for 79 at educational pricing from CCV.


    CCF
     
  16. Jsmit macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2004
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    Boston
    #16
    The 69.99 is for the first year only. After that, it is full price (possibly educational pricing?).
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #17
    Although there are sales at times for $69... probably once a year.
     
  18. cubixcrayfish thread starter macrumors member

    cubixcrayfish

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #18
    I called up apple today, changed a few things, when I went to my apple store and ordered the sales dude, didn't tell me about the .mac pricing or the free printer.

    Well I added both to my order, it is 69.95 on my invoice, I am wondering I can get the $30 rebate I got the form in front of me and says nothing about that, that would make it uber cool.

    So any stanard KVM with 2 USB would work for my Mac and PC, how about speakers cuz I got a nice set on my PC, but I was eyeing those speakers in the apple store but they were $$$$


    CCF
     
  19. cubixcrayfish thread starter macrumors member

    cubixcrayfish

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #19
    Does the apple word processor, I assume it comes with something basic, compatiable with Word? like .rtf

    CCF
     
  20. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #20
    The mini only has line out, so you'd need powered speakers or an amp, which I assume you have for the PC. In that case, all you need is a quick trip to Radio Shack to pick up an A/B switch for the plugs (one 1/8" stereo cable for the mini, one for the PC, plug into A/B switch, plug speakers into that).
     
  21. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #21
    The basic text editor that comes with your Mac is called TextEdit.

    Its native format is RTF and it can open & save .doc files as well...

    Nifty, huh?
     
  22. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #22
    Just in case you have any questions, you can also do a forum search. Instructions in this linkety.

    You don't need antivirus software.
    The KVM is pretty simple to figure out once you start plugging things in. One keyboard, one mouse, one monitor, goes into one side. On the other side you have multiple connections that go to the computers.
    Simple, eh?

    There is also Office for Mac. Pretty good IMO, better than the PC version, and you can get the entire suite for $149 if you are a teacher or a student.
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #23
    And also AppleWorks, natch. But I second the recommendation for MS Office/Mac. I actually mostly really like it -- even the .X version.
     

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